2621 W. 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
On any given Sunday morning, driving through the Tremont neighborhood near downtown Cleveland, you’re likely to see a crowd gathered on 14th Street, just before you come to the bridge over the Troy Lee James Highway. That would be people waiting to pay a visit to Grumpy’s Cafe, a highly rated brunch spot that tends to attract the younger crowd. I certainly didn’t meet a lot of grumpy people when I stepped into this homey-feeling little cafe. What I did find was a fast-moving spot packed with delicious breakfast dishes.
The menu here is flush with those wonderful, old-fashioned diner specialties. A few really interesting twists on them, though. Some of the things I liked:
- Jambalaya Omelette: Thick whipped eggs wrapping around a thick jambalaya like a nice blanket. This isn’t a combination that’s very easy to find, good jambalaya is so rare. The eggs naturally beg for a little bit of salt and the umami of the stew does deliver.
- Pancakes: Grainy, but not too grainy, thick enough that a stack of two is going to leave you very satisfied, and actually, just sweet enough that you don’t need to drench them in butter and syrup, though you’re certainly able to do that and be perfectly happy. Recommendation: Get these with a bit of bacon or ham on the side for a little bit of a salty change-up.
The little shop is very popular especially during brunch hour so expect to see a line especially if you were here in the late morning. Of course, people tend to circulate pretty quickly through a restaurant during brunch so a long list of people does not always necessarily mean a long wait. In fact, it’s pretty surprising how well this place seems to manage a surge of people. The prices are pretty normal for a brunch spot, that is to say may be a bit higher than your every day greasy spoon, but there’s also kind of the experience to match.
It seems like every neighborhood flush with young people has plenty of brunch options, so it’s refreshing to see a place that offers some of those classic specials well having just enough of something new to make it a destination. Grumpys offers that familiar host of options that makes it really comforting, while at the same time hitting you with a few surprises in the process.
- There is a dedicated parking lot next to the restaurant so it tends to be pretty full rush-hour.
- You will find a long line especially during weekend brunch, but I have found the estimate conservatively how long it will take to get your food, and more often than not you will find it move surprisingly fast.
- Jambalaya and some of the other specialties are kind of an unusual treat here.